First consumer digital camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ThermosBoy (TM), Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Just wondering about digital camera history.

    Recently, I thought back to the first one I heard about, the Canon Ion
    digital camera - many years ago. I wanted one bad. It was so exciting
    to be able to take pictures without film, I thought.

    It still is :)

    That was the earliest one I heard about being available to purchase. I
    had the pamphlet on it and all to drool over back then :)

    I have since Googled it and seeing it again makes me smile. It's model
    number was RC-250 and it stored 50 pics on Video Floppies (VF-50) that
    you could view on TV, apparently.

    Question:
    Was the Canon Ion the first non-film camera available to buy on the
    consumer market? If not, which was?
     
    ThermosBoy (TM), Dec 21, 2003
    #1
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  2. ThermosBoy (TM)

    JohnO Guest

    If you're interested, a rather good site to find out the history of digital
    cameras (I'm guessing video and still as I've only glanced through it and
    that was some time ago) is ...

    http://www.digicamhistory.com/

    Also found the following at ...

    http://www.reviewsforcameras.com/history.html

    "The first digital cameras for the consumer-level market that worked with a
    home computer via a serial cable were the Apple QuickTake 100 camera
    (February 17 , 1994), the Kodak DC40 camera (March 28, 1995), the Casio
    QV-11 (with LCD monitor, late 1995), and Sony's Cyber-Shot Digital Still
    Camera (1996)."



    "ThermosBoy (TM)" <.@.> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Just wondering about digital camera history.
    >
    > Recently, I thought back to the first one I heard about, the Canon Ion
    > digital camera - many years ago. I wanted one bad. It was so exciting
    > to be able to take pictures without film, I thought.
    >
    > It still is :)
    >
    > That was the earliest one I heard about being available to purchase. I
    > had the pamphlet on it and all to drool over back then :)
    >
    > I have since Googled it and seeing it again makes me smile. It's model
    > number was RC-250 and it stored 50 pics on Video Floppies (VF-50) that
    > you could view on TV, apparently.
    >
    > Question:
    > Was the Canon Ion the first non-film camera available to buy on the
    > consumer market? If not, which was?
     
    JohnO, Dec 21, 2003
    #2
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  3. On Mon, 22 Dec 2003 10:10:08 +1100, "ThermosBoy (TM)" <.@.> wrote:

    >Question:
    >Was the Canon Ion the first non-film camera available to buy on the
    >consumer market? If not, which was?


    I believe it would have been the Sony Mavica - the original one with a
    floppy drive... It's been a long road, but quickly travelled.

    Andy
     
    Andy Blanchard, Dec 22, 2003
    #3
  4. "ThermosBoy (TM)" <.@.> writes:

    >I have since Googled it and seeing it again makes me smile. It's model
    >number was RC-250 and it stored 50 pics on Video Floppies (VF-50) that
    >you could view on TV, apparently.


    >Question:
    >Was the Canon Ion the first non-film camera available to buy on the
    >consumer market? If not, which was?


    I suspect the Apple Quicktake 100 was the first real consumer digital
    camera. It had a fixed focus fixed focal length lens, and enough
    built-in flash memory to take 8 (yes, 8) photos in high-res mode
    (640x480) or 32 in low-res mode (320x240). No additional memory could
    be added (the Quicktake 150 had more memory when it appeared).

    Data was transferred to the host via serial port. That wasn't so bad
    on a Mac, where the serial ports are also designed for networking and
    will run at speeds somewhere above 1 Mbit/sec. But on Windows, the data
    had to be transferred through the PC's much slower serial port, and it
    took many minutes to load those 8 images.

    I've still got a QT100 somewhere, though I haven't tried using it since
    I got a decent digital camera. From your description of the technology,
    the Ion must have been later. 50 images in one session? Amazing!

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Dec 22, 2003
    #4
  5. On 2003-12-22, Dave Martindale <> wrote:
    > "ThermosBoy (TM)" <.@.> writes:
    >
    >>I have since Googled it and seeing it again makes me smile. It's model
    >>number was RC-250 and it stored 50 pics on Video Floppies (VF-50) that
    >>you could view on TV, apparently.

    >
    >>Question:
    >>Was the Canon Ion the first non-film camera available to buy on the
    >>consumer market? If not, which was?

    >
    > I suspect the Apple Quicktake 100 was the first real consumer digital
    > camera. It had a fixed focus fixed focal length lens, and enough
    > built-in flash memory to take 8 (yes, 8) photos in high-res mode
    > (640x480) or 32 in low-res mode (320x240). No additional memory could
    > be added (the Quicktake 150 had more memory when it appeared).
    >
    > Data was transferred to the host via serial port. That wasn't so bad
    > on a Mac, where the serial ports are also designed for networking and
    > will run at speeds somewhere above 1 Mbit/sec. But on Windows, the data
    > had to be transferred through the PC's much slower serial port, and it
    > took many minutes to load those 8 images.
    >
    > I've still got a QT100 somewhere, though I haven't tried using it since
    > I got a decent digital camera. From your description of the technology,
    > the Ion must have been later. 50 images in one session? Amazing!


    My first was the Agfa ePhoto 307, introduced september 1996 @ $549 !!!
    8MB memory, 640x480 resolution. Fixed focus. No LCD.

    Apple QuickTake 100 has a 1994 copyright in the manual.

    BUT, the Sony MAVICA was introduced in 1981 !!!!
    See http://www.basex.com/press.nsf/0/2D4D10F6677D5F4085256BA800112E20?OpenDocument
    But it was never sold commercially the article says only 1 unit
    existed :)

    Canon was first in 1984 with its still video system RC-701.
    Price for a package $13500.

    But there is lots of info here: http://www.digicamhistory.com
     
    Povl H. Pedersen, Dec 22, 2003
    #5
  6. ThermosBoy (TM)

    Kenny Guest

    "JohnO" <johneo@NOSPAM!cox.net> wrote in message
    news:8kqFb.12199$ti2.5110@lakeread03...
    > If you're interested, a rather good site to find out the history of

    digital
    > cameras (I'm guessing video and still as I've only glanced through it

    and
    > that was some time ago) is ...
    >
    > http://www.digicamhistory.com/
    >
    > Also found the following at ...
    >
    > http://www.reviewsforcameras.com/history.html
    >
    > "The first digital cameras for the consumer-level market that worked

    with a
    > home computer via a serial cable were the Apple QuickTake 100 camera
    > (February 17 , 1994), the Kodak DC40 camera (March 28, 1995), the

    Casio
    > QV-11 (with LCD monitor, late 1995), and Sony's Cyber-Shot Digital

    Still
    > Camera (1996)."


    I had a QV10 in 1995. I keep telling people I was an early adopter of
    digital. Bought a DC260 in 1998 which was regarded as one of the best at
    the time. My first 'real' camera was a Canon A-1 that I bought way back
    in 1978.

    Kenny
     
    Kenny, Dec 22, 2003
    #6
  7. On Mon, 22 Dec 2003 09:13:53 +0000 (UTC), (Dave
    Martindale) wrote:

    >I've still got a QT100 somewhere, though I haven't tried using it since
    >I got a decent digital camera. From your description of the technology,
    >the Ion must have been later. 50 images in one session? Amazing!


    haha.
    It was introduced in 1988-1989, apparently. But it was really a video
    still camera with low resolution (200K pixel CCD). Suitable for the
    most demanding photographers :) Behold its glory:
    http://www.digicamhistory.com/Canon_XapShot_sep.html


    From http://www.digicamhistory.com/1988.html
    CANON RC-250 XAPSHOT (Ion in Europe, Q-PIC in Japan) - 1988. The
    XapShot was a Hi-band still video camera with a ½-inch 200K pixel CCD.
    ISO 100. 11mm f/2.8 lens. Shutter 1/30 to 1/500 second. The XapShot
    had a built-in flash, self-timer, and an unusual rechargeable lead
    acid battery. MSRP $499. The $499 was just for the camera itself.
    Also required was a $999 kit which included one floppy disk, the
    battery, and computer interface card with software. The two-inch
    floppy disks sold for $10 each. The USA version of the XapShot could
    send a NTSC signal to a TV/VCR for playback and recording of images.
    There was also a very basic software utility that worked under System
    6/7 for the Mac in conjuction with the Computer Eyes NuBus video
    capture card that the camera connected to. Later, a Plug-in shipped
    that worked with Letraset's ColorStudio and then Adobe Photoshop to
    capture the images.


    Hard to believe how fast things have changed when you look back.
     
    ThermosBoy (TM), Dec 23, 2003
    #7
  8. ThermosBoy (TM), Dec 23, 2003
    #8
  9. On Mon, 22 Dec 2003 16:48:46 +0000 (UTC), "Povl H. Pedersen"
    <> wrote:

    >My first was the Agfa ePhoto 307, introduced september 1996 @ $549 !!!
    >8MB memory, 640x480 resolution. Fixed focus. No LCD.
    >
    >Apple QuickTake 100 has a 1994 copyright in the manual.


    http://www.digicamhistory.com/1994.html
    Yeh, looking at the photos of the QuickTake here jogs my memory. I
    remember the shape of this cam now.

    >
    >BUT, the Sony MAVICA was introduced in 1981 !!!!
    >See http://www.basex.com/press.nsf/0/2D4D10F6677D5F4085256BA800112E20?OpenDocument
    >But it was never sold commercially the article says only 1 unit
    >existed :)


    Ahh yep, I think the Mavica was actually the first filmless cam I read
    about. It was in tech-related books and things outlining future
    developments and stuff, before I heard about the Canon Ion.

    >
    >Canon was first in 1984 with its still video system RC-701.
    >Price for a package $13500.


    Makes your Agfa look like a bargain. Crazy early-adopters :)

    >
    >But there is lots of info here: http://www.digicamhistory.com
     
    ThermosBoy (TM), Dec 23, 2003
    #9
  10. ThermosBoy (TM)

    zeitgeist Guest

    "ThermosBoy (TM)" <.@.> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Just wondering about digital camera history.
    >
    > I have since Googled it and seeing it again makes me smile. It's model
    > number was RC-250 and it stored 50 pics on Video Floppies (VF-50) that
    > you could view on TV, apparently.
    >


    technically that's not a digital camera, it was a one frame analog video
    image, you had to convert to a digital file via a targa board or amiga
    toaster. If that camera was like the Magvica I was going to buy till I
    found out those dang 2.5 inch floppies cost $15 each (later down to about
    10) and I'd need about 100.
     
    zeitgeist, Dec 23, 2003
    #10
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